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If social media has collapsed the distance between civilians and celebrities, so too it might for civilians and, uh, corporate executives, right? Right? Monsanto execs: They’re just like us! But more to the point, the once closed-off company seems to be embracing a new media strategy: putting human faces on a faceless corporation.
In 2014, Monsanto hired a director of millennial engagement. . . . Last year, it opened its doors in St. Louis for journalists on a food fellowship it co-funded. [Robb Fraley, chief technology officer of Monsanto]. . .[has] made himself remarkably available for a C-level exec of a multinational corporation. “You have Robb Fraley showing up to every principal event and giving out his card with his phone number to reporters,” says Nathanael Johnson, a writer at Grist who has reported extensively on GMOs.
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Fraley admits that Monsanto whiffed on the introduction of GMOs to the public back in the 90s. “If I could have do one thing differently I would have focused on communicating to the public,” he said. Monsanto’s outreach efforts since, by soliciting scientists to write for the Genetic Literacy Project and giving money to scientists for outreach, have sometimes backfired.
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In any case, Monsanto is working to rehab its image—not just by getting outside scientists to defend GMOs but directly engaging. “The answer is much more dialogue, much more transparency,” says Fraley. “Three years ago there wouldn’t have been a Monsanto executive on Twitter.” And certainly not a Monsanto executive posting . . . on Twitter.
Read full, original post: A Monsanto Exec’s Selfie-Snapping, Live-Tweeting Campaign for GMO Acceptance